Many states are considering using “silver alerts” (similar to the amber alerts used missing children) in attempt to find elderly individuals who have gone missing. Many individuals suffering from dementia and/or Alzheimer’s wander as part of their disease process. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 6 of 10 adults suffering from Alzheimer’s will wander away from their caregivers at least once. In the nursing home setting, wandering without appropriate supervision often leads to falls.
The “silver alerts” would be used to notify law enforcement and the general public through media outlets in order to spread the word of the missing person. Last week, Connecticut’s State Senate endorsed a proposal to introduce the use of “silver alerts.” It is unclear whether similar measures are being contemplated here in New York.
States consider ‘Silver Alerts’ for missing adults, Journal News (Associated Press), May 3, 2009